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Henry had his first seizure tonight.  As far as seizures go, it wasn’t a bad one… but it was still hard to watch.  The neurologist warned us after we learned about the Polymicrogyria that Henry was at high risk for seizures.  I don’t remember the exact odds, but it was definitely something we were told to be prepared for.  We were also warned that if or when Henry had his first seizure, he would be at high risk for continuing (and worsening) seizures…

I’ve tried to be as prepared as possible, but honestly, I’ve been really afraid of this aspect of his diagnosis.  It’s been a hard reality for me to accept.  I’ve tried to stay optimistic about the small chance that he might never have a seizure, but I’ve had to face the probability as well.  Most of the time I just pulled my worn-out hood of denial over my head and chose not to think about the what-ifs…

I didn’t realize just how afraid I’ve been deep down until I held my son’s limp body tonight.  I was totally and completely freaked out and I realized that I’ve been dreading this evening for months — even though I had no idea when it was coming.  I’ve sometimes felt like there was an unseen monster lurking in the shadows… a danger that I could sense but not see.  I don’t think there has ever been anything scarier to me as a mom than this knowing about the threat of danger to my baby, but not knowing when or how it might strike.  

I feel like the monster was finally been let out of the basement tonight…

The good part is now at least the monster is out.  I can face him.  Now that I know it’s not going to be “if” Henry has a seizure, I don’t have to be afraid of that unknown.  Now I can silence the voice in my mind that has frightened me with the wondering and worrying.  No, I can’t stop the seizures.  That monster is too big.  But I CAN at least face my fears in the light.  And that’s a huge step.  Yes, Henry had a seizure, and he will most likely have more.  I will be more prepared next time and I will face it with him as a stronger and more courageous momma.

En Garde.

These photos were too funny not to share.  Peter taught Henry how to make fish-lips the other night — and after a few tries, he got it!  I love the look of concentration on Henry’s face at first. 



First of all… I know this post is looooong overdue! 
I’ve appreciated all the comments and emails this week along the lines of “ARE YOU STILL THERE?”  “IS EVERYTHING OKAY?”  “IS PETER BACK YET?”
Um, yeah.  Everything is okay; I’m still here; and YES! Peter’s back. 

He’s actually been home for three weeks now.  He made it back safely — although his luggage was a different story.  One of the suitcases took a long detour through southern France (wish it had been me!) but finally arrived in the good ole’ USA and then made the 100+ mile drive from the nearest airport to our house (I don’t envy the lost-luggage driver’s job!)  It actually ended up being a blessing in disguise as it saved us from having to pay for an extra checked bag on the last leg of Peter’s trip.  Thankfully, almost everything that he brought back survived the trip in one piece.  There were a few casualties — a broken ear on the giraffe, a chipped box edge here and there.  Oh well, guess it means I get to keep those items! 

It goes without saying that we’re happy to have him home.  The kids appreciate his playfulness (I’m just not as good at rug-wrestling as he is!) and I’ve realized how much I appreciate his willingness to take care of the kids when they wake up in the middle of the  night!

The last three weeks have been very full.  So much so that is seems a little strange to jump right back in as if nothing’s changed.  That’s the odd part about having a blog.  No matter what’s going on in “real” life, it’s all here waiting for me exactly as I left it, even though the circumstances and events in life change sometimes significantly from day to day.  I’ve been putting off writing this post because I didn’t feel like I could just jump back into the space I left.  But I’ve put it off long enough – and now I have to try and catch this space up!

One of most significant changes during this time has been the tragic loss of a very, very dear family friend to brain cancer.  Sue was one of my mom’s close friends (they used to ride horses together) as well as a wonderful friend to our whole family and community.  My sister lived with Sue and her husband for two years after moving out of my parent’s.  Sue was our high school English and Grammar teacher (it’s a small town!) and her English class was one of the most exciting and entertaining classes I’ve ever taken.  She was an amazing person – full of life and zest and energy.  She made subject/verb agreement something to look forward to!  She was always encouraging and supportive of everyone, and specifically in the last two years, VERY encouraging and supportive of our adoption and Henry.  She told me after we received the official diagnosis on his condition (which wasn’t what we originally thought…) that “a diagnosis is just a diagnosis.  It doesn’t change who a person is or the things they are capable of.”  This was true of Sue and her brain tumor diagnosis.  She was incredibly gracious and joyful through every minute of the last two+ years of her life after receiving the initial prognosis that she had less than six months to live.

 I’ve never met another person like her and I will miss her greatly.  

As always, going through the process of losing someone close has caused us to stop and reflect a lot… about life and love and what is really important vs what we think is important.  It’s been a good little season here… very reflective. 

Besides saying good-bye to our dear friend, we’ve been busy sorting through all the items that Peter brought home.  We’ve been working on adding artisan profiles and items to the website and have it nearly ready to launch.  We’ve also booked a few fairs/events in the next few months to hopefully generate some interest and word-of-mouth marketing.  We are really excited about connecting with people locally who have a heart for Africa and micro-financing/fair-trade; we’ve already been fortunate to have crossed paths with a few really great people in the area – mostly through completely random encounters.  It’s funny how that happens! 

We’re excited about where this non-profit is headed.  We’re excited about all the great connections with various organizations in Africa and the ones here… but to be completely honest, we were more than a little overwhelmed for the first couple weeks after Peter got home… mainly because we really didn’t feel like we knew what we were doing!  We both kind of felt like we were in a fog… We had done a lot of reading and research, so we felt like we had a good idea of the general direction we were headed… but as far as specifics, we weren’t completely sure what the next step was. 

Plus, besides all the amazing items that Peter bought back, he also came home with a lot of photos, videos and stories that made us very reflective as well.  We stayed up several times until the wee hours of the morning talking about different scenarios all centered around the theme of selling it all (not that we’d get much! J ) and moving to Africa to work in the thick of the needs we see… But always, at the end of the long conversations, the ever-familiar “C” word prevailed.  The word that keeps us grounded in the reality of our lives in the present season — commitment. Commitments to the guys we employ in the shop; commitments to our clients; commitments to pay off our business loans… 

It’s hard trying to reconcile the great needs that we see and the deep desire we have to make a difference, to touch as many lives as possible, with the questions “Is what we’re doing really going to matter?”  “Is this really going to make a difference?” – Because it is just a drop in the bucket.  The lives we’re hoping to touch through this non-profit are a mere drop in the bucket of the millions and millions of hurting and struggling people worldwide.  It’s a little overwhelming to think about.  Although… when it comes down to it, selling everything and moving overseas wouldn’t necessarily mean that we’d be making a greater impact.  It’s just easy to think that it would be a bigger drop.  But ultimately, we know that any drop is better than no drop at all!

So, yeah… it was a little foggy around here for a while.  But it’s lifted.  We have some clear direction. We have a renewed sense of gratitude for our lives and our family; we’re excited about the future.  We really believe in the things we’re working toward with the non-profit: sustainable economic growth; changing people’s lives by investing in their education and self-sufficiency; empowering them to make changes in their lives that will in turn affect their neighbors and their communities; and the biggest one of all – bringing hope to people who have none.

Okay… I guess that’s enough catching up for now.  I am TRYING to talk Peter into writing a post about his trip with some of his stories and pictures.  He’s still really swamped with catch-up work, but I know he’d love to share some things if he can get the time. 


A little about me…

Wife. Mother. Friend. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Student. Adventure-lover. Photo-taker. Book-reader. Organic gardener. Granola-maker. Green smoothie drinker. Snowboarder. Soccer-player. Aspiring rock-climber. Sometime health nut. Passionate about justice and mercy. Adoption advocate. Business owner and jewelry designer. Wild at heart. Crazy-blessed to live out in the country with my awesome family.

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"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do." {Helen Keller}

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September 2008
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